Brass Ovaries' instructors duel gravity with classes, parties, and performances set in a multifunctional aerial arts studio, which garnered the 2010–2011 title of Best Pole Studio in North America's South/Southeast Region from Pole Dance International magazine. An expert staff welcomes physiques of every gender, build, and fitness level to swoop into their seemingly weightless techniques. Courses focus on basic to advanced pole tricks as well as the hangs and twirls of the lyra, and high-heel fitness classes increase endurance for upcoming stiletto marathons.
The studio's title also refers to the name of their vertical performing group, the Brass Ovaries, headed by lead instructor Miss Natasha. The troupe and their educational programs have earned the studio multiple press mentions that highlight the empowering effects of pole mastery, such as enhanced self-esteem and the ability to reach the second floor of a fire station.
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Growing up in El Paso near Hueco Tanks led Austin Rock Gym owner Troy Wilson to view rock climbing as a way of life. In order to open his own facility he merged his experience running youth climbing programs and gyms with that of his wife and coowner Erica—a Houston native who has spent years scaling New Mexico's rocky ridges. Specializing in bouldering, belaying, and lead climbing, the duo brings mountain terrain indoors at two Austin area locations. The north Austin gym's 30-foot bouldering wall and colorful climbing routes challenge visitors to traverse steep angles, and its top-rope routes let belayed crag clingers scale to the perfect yodeling height. At the south Austin gym, sculpted, 30-foot textured walls loom over a 10,000-square-foot facility, in which climbers can belay, practice lead climbing, or conquer a bouldering cave.
Veteran climbers at each location teach classes and private lessons for rookie rockers 4 and older. In addition to bouldering, lead climbing, and belaying classes, instructors lead women's only sessions and Powerhouse courses that focus on strengthening the body's core. Troy and Tracy's team of experts also guides groups to outdoor climbing venues and lugs a portable rock wall to construction workers no longer challenged by ladders.
The majority of Total Wellness Austin's treatments are customized to meet the needs of each individual, and they all help to strengthen the relationship between mind and body. Owner Lori Massad-Koska sets the tone by developing individualized yoga programs for her clients that assist in lowering stress and improving flexibility, and a series of online instruction videos allows her students to practice in the comfort of their home or their car on the commute to work. Massad-Koska's classes also incorporate furry best friends in Doga sessions, which allow pooches and their pet humans to stretch together.
In addition to sun salutations, Total Wellness Austin aids its clients in the quest for better health with acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic care and prompt extended sweating with boot camps led by certified personal trainers. Their focus on wellness extends from clients to the community in which they live: mental-health workshops raise donations for the family room at the Travis County courthouse, which helps comfort children in trouble, and a band of skilled instructors teach free yoga sessions for vets, their spouses, and bands of migrating penguins.
The husband and wife owned Massage + Yoga Center has an impressive resumé—massage therapist Summer Greenlees was voted Austin's Best Massage Therapist in the Austin Birth Awards for several years running for her prenatal massages. Greenlees and husband Michael Parrish customize treatments to the needs of the individual, presenting a bevy of modalities in the form of trigger point, shiatsu, and a unique house treatment combining massage and yoga.
Their specialty, Ashiatsu Barefoot massage, blends therapeutic, deep-tissue, and relaxation massage treatments into a tension-blasting session customized for each client and whatever knots may be lurking in their musculature. Continuing with its theme of relaxation, the staff offers a selection of essential oils, salves, and Neutraceuticals, along with a variety of yoga classes, from beginner to prenatal. These yoga workouts encourage stress reduction, and their stretching facet helps clients render their limbs as malleable as a chewed stick of gum.
Trilled consonants and accented vowels glide off the tongues of native instructors as they teach the conversational arts in beginner and ongoing Spanish-language classes. Students can complete half of a language level in six two-hour classes held once a week, or double their course load to conquer a full level in the same amount of time. While ongoing classes are available for those with prior knowledge of the language, new students can learn basic conversational skills and the difference between a piñata and the neighbor's mailbox during beginner classes. Small class sizes of three–six allow for ample personal instruction and foster an informal atmosphere. A love of language cannot sustain itself without the occasional kiss of cultural appreciation, so teachers strive to promote a deeper understanding of the traditions, history, and public-indecency laws of their native countries in a range of class activities.
Heart-shaped measuring cups. A frilly cherry-print apron. A five-minute brownie oven. Looking like Rachael Ray’s kitchen had been hit by a shrink ray, Foodie Kids’ store brims with tiny gadgets for playful cooking endeavors. The storefront is one facet of owner Barbara Beery’s mission to spark children’s passion for cooking and nutrition. To that end, Foodie Kids hosts culinary classes and cooking camps, where students follow wholesome and simple recipes to create fruit popsicles, chicken tenders, and guacamole. Kids can also attend Makery drop-in decorating sessions and pick out cookbooks to read to pet gingerbread men.